Sunday, January 21, 2007

Here is the writing on the page since you prob can't read that!:


A design teacher enters his class’s studio in Goldsmith on the University of Texas campus in Austin at 4:00 PM on a Friday afternoon. He holds a cup of coffee and a satchel.

“Good afternoon everyone, could we gather for a minute?” The students scurry from their various corners in the room to stand in a semi circle about him. “I have a funny story, some good news and some bad news for you all. We will start with the funny story. So, as all of you know, I love my coffee very much. And like any other normal day, I made my cup at my house today, fixed it up and left to come here. And for the record, I was going to be on time. Anyways, I was walking down 22nd towards the architecture buildings just minding my own business. I am sure you all know of the new apartment building that was just finished down the road; I hadn’t really given it any attention before today and what not so I sort of looked at it and pondered it as I continued to walk. I had heard of the architect before but I was not at all familiar with any of his work. So you all know, I would not in anyway, ever recommend him to anyone… As I crossed the street, I took a sip of my coffee and continued to look up at the structure until BOOOOOM. For a reason I didn’t know at the time, I was watching my coffee pour out of its cup onto the street…. At eye level. I wondered for a second why in the world I would be seeing the street and my fallen coffee at eye level. Then I looked down. I had fallen into an open manhole!!” The class roars with laughter for a few seconds as he professor tries to regain their attention. “I had not even seen the safety cones or the workers, much less the open manhole in the midst of my thought about this truly bland building! One of the worker men was kind enough to come over and help me out of the hole, but it took the two of us a bit to find the shoe I had lost when I fell into the hole. Which is great for you guys, because I am an hour late for our desk critiques. What is even BETTER for you guys, is that I am leaving for the rest of the day to visit the doctor and make sure I am alright.” A happy tone of chatter fluttered through the room with the thought of a free summer day. “But, the bad news is, I have an assignment for you guys that you will find very difficult without me here to explain… but, hey, that’s architecture school! Good luck guys- see you tomorrow.” The professor left the room as quickly as he had come allowing each of the students to begin their weekend early. All because of a manhole.


A young girl is driving to work around 3:30 PM on a Wednesday morning. She has her cell phone glued to her ear as she talks to her closest friend and is paying little attention the life going on outside of her Mercedes. She turns onto Pearl from Martin Luther King Just before she is stopped by a worker because of an open manhole.

Girl: Oh my gosh, you have to be kidding me!

Friend: What’s wrong?

Girl: I am already late for work and this idiotic worker man is telling me to stop. GOSH! What do I do know? I am on a one way so I cant turn around.

Friend: Gosh, that sucks, why are they stopping you?

Girl: I don’t know, Urgh- I keep honking at him, but something is happening on the ground.


Girl: Weird, there is a man climbing out of a man hole!

Friend: WHAT??! What do you think he was doing down there? Is he alright? Do you think he is a supervisor or something?

Girl: Haha, no he is wearing slacks and a button down and carrying a coffee: he looks like a teacher from UT or something like that, but I dunno.

Friend: Well, honk and ask the worker what is going on. You know that the boss will kill you if you are late again. I can’t believe I got you this job and you are late all the time.

Girl: Shut up! That is so unfair. You don’t even have a job right now, so don’t lecture me on how I handle mine!

Friend: Well, I am just saying, it looks bad for me when you…

Girl: OOOh- hold on, one of the guys is coming to talk to me! I am gonna go, I will call you later and let you know.

As the girl hangs up her phone, a man in an orange construction hat asks her to roll down her window.

Worker: Excuse me ma’am, I apologize for the hold up, but we are having to do some survey work in this particular sewer. A man just fell into the hole and that’s why we had to stop you. However, there is enough room on the side so we can let you pass.

Girl: Is he alright?

Worker: Yes ma’am, he appears to be fine. You can go ahead and pass by the flagger now. Have a nice day.

Girl: Thank you.


A middle aged man sits down at his desk at a local construction company’s headquarters to write a summary of his day in his personal log. It had been an extremely long Friday for the construction worker and his frustration with his job showed through in his writing.

January 19, 2007

My three man crew and I began our day working on pipelines near a new apartment construction site as usual. The site was near the corner of 22nd and Pearl street, very close to one of those historic Austin moon towers. The perimeter of the work site was marked off, taking up as little room as possible to avoid situations with vehicular traffic as well as pedestrians. Bright orange cones were used at each corner of the site and we all wore the standard orange vests supplied by the company. The morning went by smoothly today as we worked in our assigned manhole in west campus. We broke for lunch around noon and took an hour off leaving the manhole unattended, but closed it to avoid issues with troublesome university students. Before we left, we used tape to further show our work area so that we could quickly get back to work when we got back. When we returned, our manhole was just as we had left it with the tape and cones undisturbed. There had been no issues with pedestrians or vehicles. So, once again we removed the cover off the top of the manhole and proceeded about our work. After a couple of hours, we took a short break less the 10 yards from the hole. At that point, I watched a professor walking by. As though it were the only thing in the world, he kept staring up at the recently finished Quarters apartment complex across the street. Even though I yelled at him to watch out, he didn’t hear me or just wasn’t listening. He fell straight down into the manhole. Poor guy spilled coffee everywhere. I ran and pulled him out of a hole just as a car pulled up and started honking. I had accidentally knocked a cone just enough too far into the road for her to pass when I went to get this guy out. Apparently the bitch was in a real hurry cause she kept honking. The dumb guy that fell in our hole had lost his shoe, so I had to find that for him before I could move the cone for the driver! Finally I got the man on his way, and he seemed like he was fine. I moved the cone and let the girl pass. I just don’t think I will ever see anything like that again.


everett said...

Albeit you weren't there to actually witness this story, I like it. Although void of a larger urban connectivity at face value, I think this story has a lot to say about this part of town; and I appreciate that you did it all through pure narrative.

Heather said...

Using the manhole as an object was a very interesting and original idea. I doubt anyone came up with that same object for that site. The three perspectives dealing with the manhole was also very insightful. The walker, the helper, and the driver. SUPERB!

Matthew Aguilar said...

The story is sweet, even more rad is the fact that it happened. Choosing a manhole is however a real interesting choice. I'm not sure where the project goes from here but hopefully towards more interactions that are as hysterical as this.